2016...you were a rough one. On top of all the crazy events that happened to you (new memes, weird trends, Trump) I, too, had a lot going on in my personal life. I was reluctant to even share this at all because of how public this post would be and how majority of the readers (I'm assuming) will be people I know personally. But I decided to stick through it because life's not all about the good stuff and I think that maybe someone will learn something more about me and relate to it in one way or another and now I'm just rambling so...
Here it goes:
The beginning of this year marked a very drastic transitional phase in my life as I came back from studying abroad in Rome, Italy. I went from being in unfamiliar territory to a more familiar one with all my friends and family. But something was weird...why did I feel distant and foreign in a space where I was supposed to feel community? I think being apart from the "real world" aka home for so long created a rather large disconnect between me and my close ones (friends especially). For the first time ever I felt incredibly alone (I briefly mentioned this ordeal in my Junior Year Recap post) and to make matters worse I experienced my first anxiety attack. I remember just feeling so alone and scared to the point where I started hyperventilating, forcing myself into the closet and desperately trying to calm down. I had to freaking google what the heck just happened because I had no idea that what I had experienced was indeed an anxiety attack. This happened a couple more times and I remained very quiet about it because I actually felt kind of embarrassed. You're probably wondering "what the heck Rachel, why didn't you just talk to someone?" But here was my mentality: I realized I'm a people pleaser and that I can't bear to burden another person with my problems so I should just bottle it in for safe-keeping.
Bad idea Rachel.
It got to the point where my chest physically started aching from the emotional whatevertheheck I was feeling that I kind of broke down and finally shared my troubles to a few close friends. To start wrapping up this crazy ordeal, I'll mention how after I got that weight off my chest and spread each piece of it onto friends who were loving enough to hold onto it, things really did get better. I never got another anxiety attack (fingers crossed). I forced myself to read more scripture. I busied myself to keep distracted from wandering thoughts.
One of these distractions was focusing back on my YouTube channel. I felt like talking to a camera and this seemingly invisible audience helped me gain confidence in a weird way. I began to realize that this was like another digital diary that I could continue to work on and one day look back and feel proud of. I could never keep a handwritten diary for that long anyway (literally, I've never finished a journal oops).
Next thing I know, I was waving goodbye to another set of seniors only to realize now I (imagine that "I" extra capitalized and exaggerated) was the big bad senior. Mind=blown. The real fun began when I was accepted an internship during the summer which I still continue to work at to this day. Getting to promote films for production companies like Disney and Warner Brothers was/is amazing. I attended Comic Con for the first time. I learned new skills in marketing and discovered how much I truly love film. This eventually increased my interest in working in the film/entertainment industry and to make it even more specific, in the Asian-American community. (I also mentioned this in my Junior Year Recap). I started getting confident in the fact that I now had some sort of direction for post-grad plans. It was great!
Fall came around and boy, did it diff-err-ent. As a senior, I started the school year feeling this impending pressure to get the ball rollin' on this thing called career. It didn't feel that heavy because I kind of knew that I wanted to go into film/entertainment but not having this dream of mine secured was still a scary feeling.
Let's fast-forward to present time.
With two organizations, two internships, one job, a social life (barely hanging in there), and an academic schedule, this career thing felt like that annoying little pebble you have in your sock that you're too lazy to take out because the shoe you happen to be wearing is high-top laced Converse and you know those are a pain in the butt to take off. Yeah.
I have friends on that pre-med track deciding on a gap year or applying to grad school. I have friends who had no idea on what post-grad life is going to be like. I'm somewhere in-between. I know that I want to work in a certain industry so I have somewhat of a road to start walking on but my fear of the unknown is what gets me. The fear that after graduating, I won't have a school schedule anymore. I'm on my own and separated from the comfort of my friends and mentors. I guess it's a feeling that most post-grads reading this will understand and a feeling that underclassmen will get to experience in just a few semesters.
I've been reaching out to multiple young adults and friends (THANK YOU for meeting with me btw) who have just graduating and could help a sistah out in dealing with her pre-graduation distress. This has proved to be very successful in calming my nerves. The general consensus is: calm down, do the best you can, nothing is according to your plan but His. To be truthful, it's exactly the response that I expect but I know that it's necessary for me to follow. Crazy, just crazy how four years have gone by so quickly. Seems like yesterday I moved into college. But that's another sappy story I'll express for my senior year recap...
So far, the two questions that my mom always asks when I come home from school has been: did you gain weight and do you have boyfriend? Maybe and no. The latter inquiry is something my (single) friends and I constantly have brooding over every single conversation we share. "I can't believe you've never dated before." "OMG, we're graduating and the chances of meeting a guy is slim." "Dude...what if we're single and everyone else is getting married." I've never been too worried about the whole relationship thing but it is something that is always a subject of attention so naturally I do wonder when the thing's going to happen. Thinking about how much closer I am to being (hopefully) married and discussing who we think will get engaged first is kind of fun but even more terrifying. In the meantime, I think I'll just focus more on getting a job...in His time folks, in.His.TIME.
Well if you've made it this far, congrats. I haven't written so freely before so apologies if this post lacked flow or was a bit too casual. Maybe casual was what I was going for? Anyway, I hope this helped you understand me as a person more instead of just the images and videos I share on social media. It took a lot of courage for me to hit publish on this so I truly appreciate you taking time to read through. I'm glad I got to focus more on my blog this year too (shoutout to you Sidney!) so here's to many more shared memories to come. I hope you'll stay for ride. Bring it on 2017. Bring it on.